How to Fix a Sinking Office Chair: Five Easy Steps - Desky Poland (2023)

A decent office chair is one of the best investments you can make in your workplace. This is important for your comfort and well-being and can also protect you from aches and pains and even repetitive strain injury. findthe correct height of the office chairis one of the most important factors in determining the most ergonomic posture.


  • Is it time to replace your sinking office chair?
  • Why does your office chair sink?
  • Solving the zinc problem: two methods
    • Method one: Technique of PVC pipes for fixing a sinking office chair
      • Step 1: Measure the cylinder
      • Step 2: Cut the PVC pipe to length
      • Step 3: Open the pipe
      • Step 4: Connect the tube to the cylinder
      • Step 5: Check and adjust the height
    • Method two: Use a zipper and tape
      • Step 1: Uncover the cylinder
      • Step 2: Set the height and confirm it
      • Step 3: Apply masking tape
      • Step 4: Test the hose clamp
      • Step 5: Test your office chair
    • Should you replace the cylinder in your office chair instead?
    • Pros and cons of repairing rather than replacing the seat
      • Advantages
      • cons

But even the most expensive office chairs can have a common problem: sagging. Fortunately, when you're faced with that frustrating sinking office chair problem, you don't necessarily have to rush to buy a fancy new chairmesh office chair. If necessary, you can easily repair it yourself and still get the most out of your chair. In this article, we give you 5 steps to prevent your office chair from sagging.

Is it time to replace your sinking office chair?

How to Fix a Sinking Office Chair: Five Easy Steps - Desky Poland (1)

You know better than anyone whether your chair needs to be replaced. A sure sign is usually damage to the pneumatics - but if you've come this far, you may be preparing to go a little further. We're here to help you with that, but it's worth considering before repairing that even the best job won't allow your beloved office chair to reach its full potential - we can only help you find your best height and to sit on it.

(Video) Fix Your Sinking Desk Chair with These Simple Steps

If you want completelyergonomic and adjustable office chairmaybe it's time to take a look at the office chairs that Desky has in stock.

Why does your office chair sink?

The "sinking" of office chairs is often caused by a worn or broken seal in the pneumatic cylinder that controls the height of the chair through pressure. When the seal fails, it can no longer regulate the pressure, causing the seat to sink continuously.

This is of course problematic, because it is impossible to maintain an optimal working posture. This can cause neck pain, back pain, lower back pain and even repetitive strain injuries, it's also just annoying. This may be a sign that it is necessaryreplace office chair- but before you do, it's worth trying one of our DIY methods to see if you can fix the problem yourself.

Solving the zinc problem: two methods

Method one: Technique of PVC pipes for fixing a sinking office chair

How to Fix a Sinking Office Chair: Five Easy Steps - Desky Poland (2)

Step 1: Measure the cylinder

Find a metal cylinder usually covered with a plastic tube or something. Measure the length when the chair is at the perfect height. Also measure (or estimate) the diameter of the cylinder or plastic tube.

Step 2: Cut the PVC pipe to length

Find some PVC pipe slightly wider than the diameter of the cylinder and cut it to the correct length with a standard saw.

(Video) Fix a Sinking Office Chair For Less Than a Dollar! [Tutorial]

Step 3: Open the pipe

Cut the PVC pipe lengthwise on one side with a saw.

Step 4: Connect the tube to the cylinder

Now you need to put the tube in the place where you just cut it: it should snap onto the tube so that it fits snugly against the metal cylinder. If this is difficult to assemble, you can cut the pipe into two smaller pieces to reduce resistance. It may still be a good idea to cut the pipe into smaller lengths as this will allow you to adjust the height of the seats to find the best position.

Step 5: Check and adjust the height

Sit back in your favorite office chair and make sure the height is right for you. You can increase the height by adding more tubes or decrease it by removing some. As I mentioned above, this might be easier if you've already cut the pipe into smaller lengths (although getting the measurements right first will save you a lot of trouble - measure twice, cut once, as they say!).

Method two: Use a zipper and tape

How to Fix a Sinking Office Chair: Five Easy Steps - Desky Poland (3)

Step 1: Uncover the cylinder

Expose the metal cylinder as already explained in method one. Move the tube to the side or remove it completely, but be sure to reattach the wheels before continuing.

Step 2: Set the height and confirm it

Adjust the height of the chair to the desired height and level as it cannot be adjusted later. Ideally, the height of the chair should be in line with your knees when you are standing. Imagine sitting in a chair and aligning it with your desk and monitor if possible. Try to find the optimal position as close as possible. Once set up, go to the hardware store and get the hose clamp. Use this hose clamp to hold the seat in place without tightening it all the way.

Step 3: Apply masking tape

Wrap the duct tape around the area where the hose clamp is concerned. This provides a better surface to hold the caliper. Alternatively, the metal surface can be sanded with strong sandpaper.

This will help increase the adhesion of the tape to the metal cylinder by increasing the surface area and therefore the bond. Either way, you need to make sure the surface is clean and free of grease or oil.

(Video) Computer Chair Sinking Problem - Easy Fix

Step 4: Test the hose clamp

Tighten the clamp as tight as it feels safe and check that it holds the seat in place. If it still slips, try tightening the clamp. If that doesn't work, you can try roughing up the surface even more - if you haven't done that before, it's time to get the sandpaper out and start working on it.

Step 5: Test your office chair

When the clamp is properly tightened, the office chair may no longer drop below the set height. Although you can no longer adjust the height of your chair with a lever or mechanism, you can at least work comfortably without a sinking office chair ruining your flow!

Should you replace the cylinder in your office chair instead?

How to Fix a Sinking Office Chair: Five Easy Steps - Desky Poland (4)

It is possible to fit a replacement cylinder and in some cases this is preferable. While you may be able to keep your chair in the perfect position using the techniques above, it's not very helpful if you need to adjust your height for any reason - and replacing the cylinder will get your office chair back to full function.

(Video) How to stop an office chair from sinking - Quick and Cheap Fix!

When you put it that way, it seems like a pretty compelling idea. However, depending on the chair in question, it can be difficult to find the right replacement part, especially one that is cost effective.

By the way, if you are not practical, you will probably have to visit a specialized workshop to have this part fitted. If you want to restore full functionality, you may find it better to replace the chair - especially if your chair shows other signs of aging and wear.

OfBoards of Acesit's affordable, built to last, has a full range of adjustable features and a 10-year limited warranty. So if you're looking for a new office chair, maybe that's where you should start!

Pros and cons of repairing rather than replacing the seat

Now that you know how to fix a sinking office chair, let's look at the pros and cons of choosing a repair over investing in a new chair.


  1. Inexpensive: repairing a chair is always cheaper than buying a new one or replacing a large part.
  2. Fast fix: These homemade fixes can be deployed immediately, so you can continue working without interrupting your game.
  3. Suitable for short-term use: If you are going to replace your chair, these patches are a great way to make sure it lasts until the delivery date!
  4. Super easy to pull: You don't have to be a DIY enthusiast to clamp the chair, so even the least technical can keep the chair up and running in no time.


  1. Aesthetics: Let's face it, braces aren't the prettiest solution - it might be fine at home, but in an office with clients it might look all wrong.
  2. It's only temporary: Our methods of repairing a sinking office chair yourself are unlikely to be a permanent solution, and repeat repairs may be required over time.
  3. Recurring Danger: There is a possibility that the zinc problem will return, requiring additional repairs, and in the long run you may still want to purchase a replacement.

A sinking office chair can be a frustrating problem, but with these simple DIY repairs you can at least extend the life of your chair, if only until reinforcements arrive! Whether you choose to use a hose clamp and duct tape or PVC pipe, these solutions provide a practical way to solve the problem (for now).

We trust you will consider the pros and cons of repair versus replacement and make the best decision for your situation. But remember: invest inHigh quality ergonomic chairwith solid cylinder and pneumatics, it can help you avoid sinking completely. Whatever you decide, we hope it can help you squeeze some life out of the chair before it goes to the scrap yard!


Why is my desk chair sinking? ›

When your chair keeps sinking, this means that a pipe that is also called a chair cylinder is no longer working. In order to fix this problem, you will either have to change the piston or buy a new chair. Replacement of the piston of your office chair can be challenging as well as sometimes not possible too.

Why wont my hydraulic chair go down? ›

If you have an office chair that won't go up or down, this is the problem. Usually, the culprit is a faulty gas cylinder or lift mechanism. Instead of replacing the entire chair, you may attempt to get a new gas cylinder and replace it yourself. Alternatively, opt for a professional chair repair service.

What makes a desk chair go up and down? ›

Office chairs are built around a single-acting cylinder (a spring that has been filled with air). This is connected to a piston, which in turn, moves into the cylinder when the lever is activated.

Can you fix the lift on a office chair? ›

To replace the gas lift on an office chair, you will need a new gas lift mechanism, a pipe wrench or pliers, and a screwdriver. Make sure to check the size of your chair gas lift mechanism before purchasing a replacement, as they come in different sizes.

Can you fix hydraulics on office chair? ›

If your office chair is starting to lean forward, that's another fix you'll have to make as well. Can you fix the hydraulics of an office chair? It's typically not cost or time effective to repair the broken gas cylinder, so we recommend purchasing a replacement kit and simply replacing the entire cylinder.

How do office chair hydraulics work? ›

Gas cylinders, or pneumatic cylinders, are devices that take the pressured power of compressed gas and force it through a chamber which then moves a piston in the required location. This movement and force enable the office chairs' seats to rise or lower down.

Can you refill hydraulic chair? ›

It isn't possible to refill the gas cylinder in a pneumatic chair, however, if your it's in good condition and it is a design of chair that you enjoy using then you can choose to replace the gas cylinder itself.

How long do office chairs last? ›

On average, office chairs last between seven and eight years, in this article, we will look at the durability of each category of office chairs and give you some top tips on how to make yours last.

How do you elevate a chair? ›

Adding or replacing a seat cushion is one of the safest and simplest ways to increase a chair's height. A foam cushion with cotton batting adds firmness to the seat and heightens the furniture. It is also a perfect option for adding a layer of softness for extra comfort to the seat.

Are all office chair cylinders the same? ›

If your chair is unable to adjust up and down, you may need to have the Gas Lift Cylinder replaced. All office chairs have an unique universal size and compatible with all office chairs sold in the USA/Canada. Outer cylinder has 2" in diameter, and the inner cylinder has 1.1" in diameter.

What is tilt lock on a chair? ›

Locks out tilt function when chair is in upright position. Benefits: Tilt lock allows the user to sit in an upright position for keyboarding, while providing a comfortable rocking/reclining motion during meetings, phone calls and reading activities.

Should you tilt your office chair? ›

Holding this slightly forward pelvic posture on your chair puts pressure on the muscles around the pelvis and can be hard to hold, so forward tilted chair seats (FTS) are recommended. The angle that has been shown to be optimal is 20-30 degrees forward and down. This puts the thighs at an angle between 120-135 degrees.

What is synchro tilt on a chair? ›

Synchro-Tilt Mechanism The seat and back are linked and tilt simultaneously as you lean back (typically the seat back tilts back two degrees for every one degree of seat pan tilt). Since there is less adjustability with this mechanism it is not as ergonomic as the multifunction mechanism.

Why does my office chair tilt? ›

A forward tilt mechanism adjusts the angle of the seat.

This reduces the pressure on the lower back, ensures proper posture, and alleviates blood flow to the legs and feet.

Do office chairs have hydraulic fluid in them? ›

Ergonomic chairs are usually equipped with a hydraulic office chair cylinder to adjust the seating positions easily and quickly - using a lever under the ergonomic office chair. Fluid power applications are known as hydraulics and pneumatics. This allows for ergonomic adjustments.

What is the cylinder under my office chair? ›

An office chair cylinder is the part of the chair that connects the base to the seat. And it is what allows us to adjust the chair up and down. Inside the chair cylinder is Nitrogen gas. So when you pull the chair lever, the nitrogen gas is switching chambers inside the cylinder, allowing it to move up and down.

Can you replace a hydraulic cylinder? ›

In most times, a hydraulic cylinder can be repaired by changing out pistons or seals inside the cylinder. However, on rare occasions, you may need to replace the entire cylinder itself. If that situation arises, you will need to know how to correctly remove the old hydraulic cylinder and install a new one.

What are the parts of a chair lift? ›

Stairlift Components
  • Track. The stairlift track is the rail along which the chair moves to take the user safely up and down the stairs. ...
  • Track Overruns. ...
  • Seat. ...
  • Motor. ...
  • Battery. ...
  • Seat Belt. ...
  • Sensors. ...
  • Angled Seat.
May 23, 2022

What is hydraulic chair? ›

Hydraulic dental chairs are the most common dental chair models that you will find in the market. It makes use of pumps and valves that circulate the hydraulic liquid that operates the dental chair and its position. They are known to be less noisy than electronic chairs.

What does the knob under an office chair adjust? ›

Tension is adjusted by the knob located under the chair. It is often directly in front of the chair stem, which means leaning forward in the chair to reach the knob. In some executive style chairs the knob is under the side of the seat, which means leaning to the side of the chair to reach.

Is it better to sit high or low in a chair? ›

The correct chair height is when both your feet (with shoes), are flat on the floor and your knees are slightly lower than the level of your hips. By sitting with your knees below the level of your hips you reduce the rotation of the pelvis which in turn reduces the pressure in the lumbar discs.

Can hydraulics be repaired? ›

Hydraulic cylinders are both powerful and reliable, but can also break down or wear out over time. Seal leakage, corrosion, and piston damage are some of the most common issues that you may experience with your hydraulic cylinders. Thankfully, most cylinders can be repaired.

What is the hydraulic part of a chair called? ›

Office chairs or desk chairs in use today feature height adjustment with a gas cylinder, sometimes referred to as a pneumatic lift. I have also heard some people call it a hydraulic shaft or even a plunger piston. The most common name in the industry refers to it as a gas cylinder.

What are the three levers for in an office chair? ›

3 Lever Chair Mechanism
  • Lever 1 – adjusts the seat height.
  • Lever 2 – adjusts the seat tilt/angle.
  • Lever 3 – adjusts the back tilt/angle.

How long does a chair gas cylinder last? ›

A office chair gas cylinder is the height adjustment mechanism on the chair. The typical life span of a office chair gas cylinder is 4-7 years, depending on use and abuse.

How does air lift chair work? ›

The air chamber in this cylinder is connected to a piston that, when activated by someone pushing the lever, moves into the chamber. This action further compresses the air inside the chamber, resulting in a lifting motion that allows the seat to rise.

What is in hydraulic fluid? ›

What is hydraulic fluid made of? Hydraulic fluid typically consists of a base oil and various additives. The usual base oils are mineral oil-based, synthetic oil-based, or water-based. Normal additives are anti-wear agents, rust and corrosion inhibitors, and more.

What is a gas lift on a chair? ›

Without getting all too technical, a gas lift mechanism allows your chair or stool to move up or down by pushing a lever. You've likely used plenty of these chairs in the past, whether on an office chair, bar stool or other kinds of seating.

Can you tighten gas struts? ›

Adjustable Gas Springs

Note that there is no approved way to increase the force on a gas strut as of yet, so always start out higher than you need, and slowly adjust downward from there.

Can office chairs be re gassed? ›

CAN YOU REFILL THE GAS CYLINDER IN YOUR CHAIR? It isn't possible to refill the gas cylinder in a pneumatic chair, however, if your it's in good condition and it is a design of chair that you enjoy using then you can choose to replace the gas cylinder itself.

Why wont my gas lift chair stay up? ›

Most likely, this is a depressurization of the gas lift. In this case, replacing the piston is the only way to eliminate the problem. Other methods (for example, fixing the cylinder in one position with a hose and adhesive tape) are temporary measures and do not allow you to adjust the seat's height.

Why does my office chair sink when I lean back? ›

A pneumatic office chair has a single-acting cylinder. This is a spring that has been filled with air. When the piston is moved further out of the chamber, the air inside the chamber expands, allowing the seat to lower. If your chair keeps sinking, this means that the cylinder is no longer working.

Why do gaming chairs sink? ›

The Reasons That Make Your Gaming Chair Sink

The only means of height adjustment is either pneumatic or a hydraulic pump that you can find beneath your seat. However, the gaming chairs have a pneumatic cylinder only. This is the center point where the problem arises, and you feel that your chair keeps sinking.

Why is my gaming chair not going up or down? ›

If your gaming chair won't recline or fall upright to its normal position, then it may be due to a detective tilt mechanism or gas cylinder. Locate the tension adjustment knob and use its crank or levered tension adjustment to reduce the tension.


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